Prague locals seek to oust Palestinian embassy
A police car passes the Palestine embassy which stands next to the residence of the late Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal on January 2, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. [Getty Images]
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The Prague neighborhood where a safe explosion killed the Palestinian ambassador is seeking to oust the new Palestinian embassy complex from its territory, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
Petr Hejl, the mayor of the neighborhood called Suchdol, said the ouster request will be sent on Friday to the Czech Republic's Foreign Ministry.
The demand to remove the new Palestinian embassy complex comes after protests from locals based on security concerns, Hejl said.
Palestinian Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal died Wednesday of lethal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen when an embassy safe exploded.
“The safe was emptied and moved to the house. My father had been putting documents inside it and it was open,” Rana al-Jamal said.
“The explosion took place while he used it,” she said.
Jamal’s daughter also said her mother, who was there at the time, had told her that the safe had not been badly damaged.
In related development, Czech police said the blast might have been caused by mishandling an explosive, while rejecting the possibility of an attack or a terrorist incident.
Prague police chief Martin Vondrasek told Czech Radio that investigators had found weapons at the mission that were not registered with local authorities.
The Czech foreign ministry said it was concerned by the findings and that diplomats’ weapons were subject to local laws on arms, which require registration and licensing.
“The ministry is concerned that among evidence... were weapons not registered in the Czech Republic,” the ministry said in a statement
“In such case, the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations may have been breached and we will demand an explanation,” it added, referring to the international rules that govern the activities of diplomats and embassies.
Communist Czechoslovakia maintained friendly relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1980s, but the Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member country, has been supportive of Israel.
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